Press Release: Landmark Legislation to Ensure Long-Term Stability for America’s National Heritage Area Now Law

January 18, 2023

Landmark Legislation to Ensure Long-Term Stability for America’s National Heritage Area Now Law

Federal and State boundaries now align and allow for more preservation and promotion of Baltimore’s historic neighborhoods and cultural gems.

Baltimore, MD - The Baltimore National Heritage Area (BNHA) is proud to announce that its reauthorized for another 15 years. President Biden signed the National Heritage Area Act (S. 1942). On December 22, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the legislation by a bi-partisan vote of 326-95, after the Senate passed the legislation without opposition two days earlier. The National Heritage Area Act creates standard criteria for the funding, management, and designation of National Heritage Areas across the country and provides them an annual authorization of up to $1 million per year for the next 15 years.

“Establishing a system for National Heritage Areas will help breathe new life into the historic preservation movement in America,” said Alan Spears, Senior Director for Cultural Resources for National Parks Conservation Association. “Our history, complicated as it may be, serves as a rallying point for Americans of different backgrounds and ideologies. This piece of legislation exemplifies what our country can do when we stand together to protect our shared legacy.”

In addition to the reauthorization Baltimore’s National Boundary now matches the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority boundary which was expanded in 2019. The boundary expansion that passed and signed-off by President Biden allows Baltimore NHA to serve even more historic neighborhoods, cultural institutions, and natural resources.

Shauntee Daniels, Executive Director of BNHA, says “reauthorizing the BNHA for another 15 years is a major accomplishment for Baltimore. This will allow us the time and resources to create a sense of place for the next generation of story tellers. The boundary expansion is important, it allow us to serve more neighborhoods representing the history and culture which make Baltimore nationally significant. We will be able to be continuing to archive of Baltimore’s incredibly special place in U.S. history.”

In general, National Heritage Areas are partnerships among the National Park Service, states, and local communities in which the Park Service supports state and local conservation through federal recognition, seed money and technical assistance. Unlike lands within the National Park System, which are federally owned and managed, lands.

Congressionally authorized matching funds, NPS provides technical assistance and a strong partnership. National Heritage Areas match every federal dollar with an average of $5.50 in state, local, and private contributions, and a 2012 study determined that NHAs are responsible for a nearly $13 billion economic impact in the communities they serve.

To learn more about NHAs, their value, and their work, please

visit You can also view a short video created by ANHA that explains why The National Heritage Area Act is needed for the future of NHAs. You also view a short video on Baltimore National Heritage.

The Baltimore National Heritage Area (BNHA) works to promote, preserve, and enhance Baltimore's legacy through history, arts, and culture. Find out more at